I hope you are well and safe in the midst of the unprecedented impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
I am writing to inform you about the process for selecting options for some of Year 8s subjects in Year 9. Normally, this would be launched with a presentation to students and parents but this is, of course, impossible to do at present.
In Year 9, all students will continue to follow a core curriculum of English, Maths, Science, RE, PE, Geography, History and either French or Spanish. In order to assist students in thinking about their future subjects and pathways ahead of selecting GCSE options at the end of Year 9, we are inviting all Year 8 students to pick two subjects they would like to focus on during the forthcoming academic year. Each of these subjects would be delivered as a double period each week to complete their timetable.
We believe this approach gives students a deeper understanding of their chosen subjects and enable them to adapt more easily to the demands of higher-level study as they progress into their GCSEs. We also believe it will reduce the disengagement of students who feel as though they are forced to do a subject that they do not demonstrate an aptitude or interest in pursuing further. We hope that students pick subjects they enjoy and have ability in and, in turn, that they will develop a good foundation in those subjects ahead of studying them for GCSE. These choices, however, do not have to be what your son or daughter picks for their GCSE options at the end of Year 9 – there is a separate process for selecting GCSE options that takes place in Year 9. For example, if a student wants to pick Product Design for GCSE but did not choose it for their mini-options in Year 9, they will be able to do so. Similarly, if they choose Art for their mini-options in Year 9, they do not have to keep studying it at GCSE in Years 10 and 11.
At the bottom of this page you will find a link to the Subject Information Sheets for each of the creative subjects that comprise the options that your son or daughter are able to choose from. Although these sheets contain information about the GCSE content, they will nevertheless provide you with an overview of the type of content and skills needed to be successful in them.
Secondly, you should also find a copy of the Options Choices form. This should be clear and easy to follow and we would ask that these forms be returned to me by Wednesday, May 20th so that we can plan the timetable for next year as soon as possible. This should be done via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by confirming with your son or daughter’s tutor when they contact you as part of their regular pastoral conversations.
These materials are available at the bottom of the page.
Please do not hesitate to contact me at the above email address if you would like to discuss this process further or to resolve any queries you may have.
Vice-Principal - Curriculum